Malta's famous Azure Window collapses in storm


The people of Malta are 'heartbroken' after news their iconic Azure Window has collapsed into the sea.

Arching over the blue seas and popular with tourists and divers, the landmark crumbled as the country was hit by stormy weather.

See also: Malta holidays: Best things to see and do

See also: Stunning video: Underwater statue of Christ in Malta

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described the arched rock structure's fall into the sea as a "heartbreaking event" today.

The Azure Window on the north-western coast of the small island of Gozo had featured in countless Malta tourism brochures.

Geologists had long warned that the structure was eroding fast and the authorities had banned visitors from walking on top of it.

Malta's Azure Window collapses in storm

Malta's iconic landmark, the Azure Window, has collapsed

Gozo resident Roger Chessell went to the coastline in the morning to take pictures.

"There was a big raging sea beneath the Azure Window," he told the Times of Malta newspaper.

"Suddenly, the arch collapsed into the sea with a loud whoomph, throwing up a huge spray."

Credits: @JosephMuscat_JM/Twitter

Prime Minister Muscat has Tweeted about his sadness after the collapse of the Azure Window

Malta's famous Azure Window collapses in storm

The arch known as the Azure Window in Gozo, Malta, has fallen into the sea

Prime Minister Muscat said in a Tweet that the famous Mediterranean landmark had always faced destruction because of natural corrosion. "That sad day has arrived," he wrote.

Dramatic moment Malta plane hijackers kneel on runway with hands raised after surrendering to anti-terror cops

Others took to Twitter to express their sadness and sense of loss, sharing photos they'd previously taken of the landmark.

Lady of Awesome wrote on Twitter: "The Azure Window of Gozo, Malta has collapsed and is gone forever, and it's breaking my heart. "

Melissa O'Grady said: "Blown away by the news the Azure Window in Malta is now destroyed. Glad I was able to see it 6 months ago #azurewindow."

TripAdvisor's 25 best landmarks in the world 2016

TripAdvisor's 25 best landmarks in the world 2016